Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. 100
    Not many movies know that truth. Moonlight Mile is based on it.
  2. 38
    An insult to anyone who has tragically and unexpectedly lost a loved-one in a similar manner.
  3. 88
    Quirkily likable comedy-drama about a family trying to coping with loss, contains three of the best performances you're likely to see in an American movie this year.
  4. In ''Ordinary People,'' at least one character -- Mary Tyler Moore's -- had to fall so that the others could survive. In Moonlight Mile, no one gets shut out of the hug cycle.
  5. A sentimental, feel-good look at a family in mourning, but Jake Gyllenhaal rises above the clichéd script with a brilliantly creative performance.
  6. This movie has promising ingredients. But you'll leave wanting much, much more.
  7. Eloquent acting -- in fits and starts -- can't make up for the movie's glib, off-putting calculations.
  8. What's on screen is too honest and from the heart to totally dismiss but too slick and contrived to completely embrace. This is a film that cares about genuine emotion but also wants to tame it, to tidy it up and keep it confined to quarters.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The film drips with honest emotion and confusion.
  10. 75
    The first half of Moonlight Mile feels like the runaway trailer for a movie that can't wait to jerk your tears. But to quote Joe in a moment of epiphany, there's a ''truth enema'' out there, and, boy, it really brings this movie around.
  11. Gyllenhaal, in the pivotal role, brings a scruffy, boyish charm to the proceedings, but his big scenes with Hoffman and Sarandon are one-sided - he's not in the same league, and comes off as a bit of a cipher.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    I'm at a loss to account for how OFF this film is -- how a movie can seem so conscientiously earnest yet so creepily exploitive. It's like a Christmas stocking over a crematory.
  13. 50
    A movie about grief for people who don't want to be upset too badly. It's a half-a-hankie tearjerker, a meek, polite weepie.
  14. 80
    A dazzling true-life comedy that might be the funniest movie about grief ever made.
  15. 50
    Silberling has the nerve to play it for laughs -- This is clearly an actor's movie, but only Sarandon and Holly Hunter (as the attorney prosecuting the murderer) rise to the occasion.
  16. Inside Moonlight Mile, an honest and heartbreakingly true movie is struggling to get out.
  17. Jake Gyllenhaal is 21 and looks as though he's going on 16. This is not a problem for films like "Lovely & Amazing" and "The Good Girl"-- It is a problem in Moonlight Mile, where he plays a grown man recovering from the murder of his fiancée.
  18. Occasionally feels like a Neil Simon rewrite of "In the Bedroom," as it see-saws between hard truths and quirky humour.
  19. The movie doesn't really jell. Glossy, good-looking and well-produced, it affects you and even sometimes moves you, but it doesn't really convincingly connect.
  20. In his determination to lighten the heavy subject matter, Silberling also, to a certain extent, trivializes the movie with too many nervous gags and pratfalls: to the point where his heartfelt drama comes perilously close to tasteless comedy.
  21. Though its conclusion is too tidily therapeutic, and though elements of its story strain credibility, Moonlight Mile has an understated, lived-in quality and a wry, unforced sense of the absurd.
  22. 70
    Hoffman and Sarandon work well together, and Gyllenhaal, who's carved out a niche for himself as the new face of internalized conflict, fits nicely into a role Hoffman would have made a meal of 30 years ago.
  23. 80
    Both funny and telling about the messy passages of grief.
  24. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The film is full of sharp acting and home truths, but its ambition to be different finally surrenders to its need to be loved.
  25. An admirable effort, but too many words, words, and more words, and not enough of the ache of that half-smile.
  26. Moonlight Mile leavens the mood occasionally, but it cheapens things by insisting that everybody onscreen and in the audience leavethe theater smiling.
  27. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    A movie at war with itself -- tuned into its characters' vicissitudes one moment, stumbling with awkward stabs at goofiness the next.
  28. 75
    Understands that extreme feelings bring out weird reactions. Tension and sadness will occasionally be interrupted by humor -- even slapstick.
  29. The film takes an incredibly wrong turn when it shifts to the courtroom trial -- It all but kills any goodwill Silberling has engendered up to this point.
  30. 60
    All the shell-shocked wryness, irredeemable remorse, and unaccountable will to survive that the movie attempts to embody are realized in Gyllenhaal, and the actor makes it possible to root for Moonlight Mile despite its flaws.
  31. Reviewed by: Steve Simels
    An occasionally surreal meditation on coping with loss, and a love story with a dark side the size of Montana.
  32. 60
    An emotionally honest film, but it would have been far more affecting if it felt more true to life.
  33. Too predictable and too self-conscious to reach a level of high drama.
  34. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    It's a combination of good story, nice moments and appealing texture.

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